Wearing violet for Matt
Matt Dodge is like the cousin you’re always glad to see at family parties. He’s positive, friendly, excited to see you and generally just full of life.
Matt, an American Family Insurance agent in Mason City, Iowa, woke up at the end of the 2013 with a lump on his neck. The diagnosis came fast and the news wasn’t good: Matt has Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It’s hard to even imagine the reaction a dad with two kids under the age of 10 has to that news. But Matt’s facing this challenge with the same humor and grace we’ve seen in him every day. His family has even started a Facebook group, Matt Dodge kicks cancer, to share updates about Matt on this journey, where people can wish him well, too.
For those of us who know Matt, news of his illness was a blow.
“Matt is a great agent and family man,” says his manager, Terry Bartels, who hired Matt as an agent right out of college. “He helps and supports everyone he runs across. You don’t hear him say a negative word, and even during this fight, he is still thinking of things he can do to help others right now.”
Matt’s part of a group of agents we at American Family call Agency Council. They meet a few times a year to share feedback from and give reaction to new ideas. It’s a tight group where new friendships have developed as agents and employees have had a chance to get to know each other.
Enter Cami Sagvold. Cami is an American Family agent in Moorhead, Minn., right next to Fargo. She’s gotten to know Matt through Agency Council, and when she heard in January that he had cancer, she wanted to do something to show support. This week, American Family's Agency Council members are meeting in Madison, and Cami rallied them to wear violet to show Matt they are thinking of him.
There’s violet everywhere. T-shirts. Sweaters. Cupcakes with violet frosting. Violet-sprayed hair (and scalps, for some of the follicly challenged). Former Agency Council members are wearing T-shirts back in their offices. And people are taking pictures and sharing them with Matt through social media.
Family is a big part of our focus. It’s times like these when you really appreciate one of the things that means – putting that extra effort in to show a friend you care. Well done, Agency Council.
And good luck Matt – your American Family is pulling for you.